Recently a Seattle bar has pre-emptively banned Google Glass from its premises, generating mixed reactions online, but also raising questions about whether they will present a privacy concern when used in public spaces. The 5 Point Café made its intentions clear with a post on its Facebook page that stated: "For the record, The 5 Point is the first Seattle business to ban in advance Google Glasses. And ass kickings will be encouraged for violators," it said alongside a graphic of an eye adorned with the glasses, and a red cross struck through. Once the dialog gets going, we begin to see that Google Glass may not be that cool in many circles in the future. Couriers, visitors, janitors all of a sudden become a threat to businesses as these people get into various offices, have access to files late at night and Google Glasses can go live to whoever is wanting information on their competitors.
Another point in the noted article above stated that we shouldn't "be surprised when those on the sexual offenders' list in most states are banned from owning/wearing Google Glasses as part of their punishment." Some have questioned if Google Glass could be banned in Casinos. And the more the wheels begin to turn you know that the list of those who won't want Google Glass around them or their offices is going to grow exponentially.
The UK's Telegraph has a great article on this subject. They framed it so well when they stated that Google Glass is "Orwellian surveillance with fluffier branding." The report continued by stating that Google Glass "isn't just video surveillance – Glass uses audio recording too. For added impact, if you're not content with Google analysing the data, the person can share it to social media as they see fit too."
Yet that is the reality of Google Glass. Everything you see, Google sees. You don't own the data, you don't control the data and you definitely don't know what happens to the data. Put another way – what would you say if instead of it being Google Glass, it was Government Glass? A revolutionary way of improving public services, some may say. Call me a cynic, but I don't think it'd have much success.
It's already led to reactions in the US. 'Stop the Cyborgs' might sound like the rallying cry of the next Terminator film, but this is the start of a campaign to ensure places of work, cafes, bars and public spaces are no-go areas for Google Glass. They've already produced stickers to put up, informing people that they should take off their Glass.
"If choice is an illusion created between those with power and those without," The Telegraph states, "then Google Glass goes to the heart of what it is to live in a digital world and what it is to exercise choice about your privacy. The danger is that we lose our privacy and Google gains the power."
Last June we reported that Apple had won a surprising Anti-Big Brother Surveillance Patent that discussed how Apple could possibly assist their customer base with the threats of cyberspace by creating a unique clone identity to fool those that track users around the globe. Google Glass however is a threat beyond such feeble software.
The general topic itself of advanced computer surveillance systems has caught the imagination of the creators of the TV show "Person of Interest" who make us leery of the Government program called "The Machine."
Some of what I've read recently has made me realize the potentially negative side to Google Glass before it ever hits the streets. And yet for filming life's little events such as birthdays, important meetings and/or capturing the beauty of a hike in the Great Canadian Rockies won't have a darn thing to do with spying and yet the thought that what I'm filming may not be private, makes me wonder if the potential negatives outweigh the positives.
For now I'm still open to Google Glass, but I'm sure between now and the time it launches, we're bound to hear both sides of the argument get louder and louder showing us more of the pros and cons of such a technology. Google Glass is coming come hell or high water so there's no stopping it. But from what I'm seeing, there's going to be a powerful movement that will make every effort to severely restrict its use.
What are your thoughts on this?
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